Religious and political conservatives are complicit in the rise of the “no-fault” divorce policies in the United States, which has led to the dissolution of countless families in America in the last 40-plus years, a prominent conservative author asserted Friday.
While speaking on a panel discussion at the Family Research Council, Ryan MacPherson, author of the book Rediscovering the American Republic and The Culture of Life: Ten Essential Principles for Christian Bioethics, stated that conservatives deserve some share of the blame for allowing America to accept divorce laws that make it possible for married individuals to be granted a divorce without having to claim any wrongdoing of their spouses.
MacPherson, who is the history department chair at Bethany Lutheran College in Minnesota, explained that “liberal theologians” and “progressive lawyers and state legislatures” are responsible for initially advocating and passing America’s first no-fault divorce legislation in California.
However, the California legislation was sponsored by a prominent conservative state senator and was signed into law in 1970 by the state’s then-governor, conservative Ronald Reagan, who was later elected president and was divorced and remarried. MacPherson stated that Reagan’s authorization of the legislation brought California’s divorce laws to closely mirror that of the communist Soviet Union.
As the rise of no-fault divorce occurred predominantly during the 1970’s and 1980’s, both conservative and liberal states started to enact similar no-fault divorce legislation. By 1980, 37 states had enacted no-fault divorce laws. By 2010, every state in the country had such a law.
MacPherson believes these laws have caused more women and children to enter into poverty, more men to lose custody of their children, and more children to experience depression and other emotional issues, which have had an adverse effect on American society.
MacPherson explained that these laws have remained intact because they have been “justified” by both sides of the political spectrum due to conservative’s inability to petition against them in their advocacy for pro-traditional family policies.
“Where were the conservatives?” MacPherson asked. “No-fault reform has retained its status as the law of the land, in part, because it derives its justification from both sides of the political spectrum, even if initially engineered by aloof lawyers and judges, not grassroots, partisan reformers. No-fault divorce has strong champions on both the political left and right.”
SOURCE: SAMUEL SMITH